Posts Tagged synod
A radical shift away from a church with inflexible laws / La Croix International in National Catholic Reporter
“With the culmination of the Root and Branch Inclusive Synod in Bristol less than a month away, Sept. 5-12, there are early indications that the so-called ‘Bristol Text’ will be both deeply reflective and challenging to the current bishops’ position.
“The text will include brief, accessible statements on liturgical ministry, diversity, moral theology, and authority, backed by papers giving it historical and theological depth.
“Four international teams of distinguished theologians, jurists and thinkers, both lay and religious, have been meeting to consider the results of the synod’s year-long ‘journey of discernment.’
“Sources close to the process suggest that the Bristol Text will propose a radical shift away from a church that enshrines its teaching in inflexible laws, towards one that guides and enables the people of God to reflect for itself.”
By Jon Rosebank, La Croix International, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
N.B.: This is part one of a three-part series discussing the theologies of the papacies of Pope Francis and Pope Paul VI. Links to parts two and three of the series are listed below.
The opposition to Pope Francis is unprecedented. There have been disagreements in the life of the church before: How could there not be? And, in recent times, we have even seen some cardinals voice disappointment or even disagreement with directives coming from Rome. For example, Belgian Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens was not shy in voicing his concern about the manner in which the first synods of bishops after the Second Vatican Council were conducted. But claiming an apostolic exhortation is not magisterial? Publishing detailed challenges to the pope’s teaching? This is uncharted territory.
“I believe that the opposition to Francis is rooted in a flawed understanding of the post-conciliar era and, more specifically, where we are in the process of receiving the council. Francis, just last month, in an interview with Italian daily Avvenire, noted that it takes about 100 years to fully receive a council, and he is right. Some people thought that process was completed, and that they had mastered all the riddles of the Catholic faith in the post-conciliar age. They are very upset that their assumptions and some of their conclusions have been challenged.
“Last week marked the 51st anniversary of the close of Vatican II. In the past four years, we marked the opening of the council, commemorated the promulgation of key conciliar texts, held conferences to explore the meaning of the documents, and appropriately so, because Vatican II remains the most determinative event in the life of the Catholic church in our living memory.
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this first article in Winters’ three-part series.
Click here to read the second article in this series, “Pope Paul VI’s greatness lies in his church leaderhsip after Vatican II.”
Click here to read the third article in this series, “Different popes, different personalities — and underlying continuity.”
“After all, until last weekend (Apr. 9-10) there had not been a synod in Ireland in over half a century, and none in Limerick for 70 years.
“Having come from Dublin it was an opportunity for Bishop Leahy to get a feel for his flock. More importantly still it was a clear indication that this was a bishop willing to listen and take heed of what his faithful were telling him.
“Fast forward 18 months and Bishop Leahy now describes the synod as an ‘incredible journey’ that began because he ‘wanted to hear from the people exactly what they are concerned about and what we can do in the future to improve our Church and how it serves the people.’
“‘The great thing about it is that it has been a people-led journey. The people decided what would be on the agenda and the people voted,’ Dr Leahy said.”
By Cathal Barry, The Irish Catholic — Click here to read the rest of this story.
“‘The synod journey culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, (who is) called to speak authoritatively as ‘the Pastor and Teacher of all Christians,’ Pope Francis stated on October 17, on the eve of the final week of the synod on the family.
“In a keynote talk of the utmost importance delivered at the celebration for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the synod of bishops, Francis spoke about ‘synodality in the church,’ the synod’s place within this, the relation between the synod and the Successor of Peter, and reminded the synod fathers that he has the last word.”
By Gerard O’Connell, America magazine — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Cardinals reportedly criticize synod in letter to Francis, but signatories disassociate / National Catholic Reporter
Disagreement at the highest levels of the Catholic church about the worldwide meeting of bishops on the family seemed to come to the fore Monday (Oct. 12) with publication of a private letter from several cardinals to Pope Francis, before a number of the prelates disassociated themselves from the document.
“The letter, reportedly given to the pontiff on the first day of the ongoing Synod of Bishops, sees the cardinals sharply criticize the meeting; even saying it ‘seems designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions.’
“But although the letter was first revealed Monday morning with reports of signatures from 13 cardinals, by afternoon at least four of the group had disassociated themselves from it — saying they had never signed the document or supported its arguments.
“The intrigue led Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi to tell reporters at a mid-day briefing that they should ‘have caution’ in reporting on the document, and verify each of the alleged signatures.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Also of interest:
Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life.
“Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new opportunities in ministry, he told Catholic News Service Oct. 6.
“Discussing a number of proposals he offered the synod fathers to think about, he said, ‘I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons because the diaconate in the church’s tradition has been defined as not being ordered toward priesthood but toward ministry.’
“Currently, the Catholic Church permits only men to be ordained as deacons. Deacons can preach and preside at baptisms, funerals and weddings, but may not celebrate Mass or hear confessions.
By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As we continue to assess the effects of Pope Francis’ first U.S. visit and look forward to the opening in a couple of days of the Bishops’ Synod on the Family. we get this interesting take on events from Daniel Burke at CNN.
The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.
“Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well (as) several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug.
“In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United States.
“‘Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,’ Grassi said.
“The meeting between Grassi and the Pope adds another intriguing twist to the strange aftermath of Francis’ first-ever trip to the United States. Since news broke on Tuesday (Sept. 29) of Francis’ meeting with Davis, conservatives have cheered the seemingly implicit endorsement, while liberals have questioned how much the Pope knew about her case.
“In a statement on Friday, the Vatican said that the meeting with Davis was not intended as a show of support for her cause and said “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.'”
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As U.S. dioceses continue their Vatican-ordered consultations for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, a national clergy group has launched its own questionnaire in an effort to highlight the issues most pressing to priests.
“The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests sent a synod survey on Jan. 31 to its 1,000-plus members, asking each not to answer the 46 questions presented in the synod’s working document, the lineamenta, but instead to rank them in importance on a seven-point scale from ‘not important’ to ‘essential.’ Each question also offers comment space for priests to expand on those questions they deemed as essential.”
By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Also of interest is, “Strong Catholic Families offers simplified survey for family synod,” by Soli Salgado, National Catholic Reporter.
Catholics who want to give input to their local bishops ahead of October’s global Synod of Bishops on the family have ample opportunity — but they better hurry.
“A preliminary sampling of 21 dioceses around the U.S. found all were seeking input from individual Catholics through online surveys or parish consultations, and information on how to provide that input was easily available through the local diocesan newspaper, the diocesan website, or both.
“But most dioceses in this preliminary sampling are closing the consultation in early March, and at least a few are closing the consultations as early as Friday. Many dioceses issued the invitation to participate in surveys in January. Juneau, Alaska, seems to be earliest, issuing an invitation Jan. 14.
“In 2013, Pope Francis initiated a two-year churchwide consultation on the family that included an extraordinary Synod of Bishops, which met at the Vatican in October 2014, and an ordinary Synod of Bishops, which will meet Oct. 4-25 at the Vatican and focus on the theme, ‘The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World.’”
By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Reform groups’ petition asks Vatican to diversify lay voices at family synod / National Catholic Reporter
At the Synod of Bishops on the family held at the Vatican in October 2014, several couples from around the world were invited to attend as representatives of the Catholic laity. One American couple, Alice and Jeff Heinzen, spoke about the beauty of family life and the advantages of natural family planning, a practice embraced in the church’s teachings.
“But Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of FutureChurch, said, ‘While their voice and constituency should be represented, they should not be overrepresented. The purpose of the synod is to break new ground on these issues and to develop pastoral practices that reach out to Catholics who have not felt welcomed because they do not entirely conform to current teaching and practice.’
“In an effort to ‘widen the circle’ at the second synod on the family, scheduled for October 2015, reform groups FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithful and the American Catholic Council have drafted a petition calling for more diverse laity to be invited. Twenty other organizations have joined the cause. The letter, which launched Jan. 21, addresses Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and the bishops of the world. Organizers plan to deliver it March 4 by mail and email to the bishops, and hand-deliver a copy to Baldisseri at the Vatican.”
By Soli Salgado, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.